André Hansen and Kristoffer Zachariassen have been selected for Ståle Solbakken’s national team squad. Both of these must travel to Málaga by scheduled flight and will be quarantined for three days after returning home. It makes Hareide react.
– The biggest risk for our players now is when they travel by scheduled flight, via Zurich, to Málaga. And if something happens to our players, then there will be uproar, says the RBK boss.
In addition to the aforementioned Rosenborg duo, these Elite Series players have also been selected: Fredrik Aursnes, Stian Gregersen, Aron Dønnum, Fredrik Bjørkan and Patrick Berg.
– Completely hair-raising
The 67-year-old explains that they were not aware that the players must be quarantined when they return home.
– When they were taken out, it was communicated that the players should be at home, but that they could train with us. They should be in quarantine, outside the cohort we have, says Hareide.
Hareide is quite clear on what he thinks should have been done.
– They should have flown them directly down from Oslo if they were important to the national team. And that is a risk for our players. In addition, we lose three days with them, in preparation for a series game against Strømsgodset. I think it is completely hair-raising, he says frustrated.
Glimt coach Kjetil Knutsen is, to put it mildly, unhappy with the Norwegian Football Association’s handling of this matter.
– I found out a few days ago. I mean we are completely led astray. The information from the association was first that players should not be quarantined. I thought this was handled in a miserable way by the NFF, Knutsen says to AN after the match against Odd.
– Communicated in many ways
Gro Tvedt Anderssen, director of communication and public relations at NFF, informs the following to TV 2 in an SMS:
– 30 minutes before the Norwegian squad was to be announced on Wednesday, we were told, pr. phone, that we would get exceptions in line with Olympic and PL athletes. The details and wording were laid down in the regulations later in the day. Then it became clear that the exception meant that the players were released from quarantine hotels and could train and play matches with their team after a negative test after day 3.
– We have communicated this in many ways to the clubs, including in a separate information meeting with the clubs the day after the press conference and in direct conversations with several daily and sports leaders in the affected clubs. These are complicated and new rules that the authorities often change. We do our utmost to ensure that the clubs receive ongoing information about all changes.
She further writes that NFF is happy that the players have been granted exceptions, and at the same time understands some of Hareide’s frustration.
– We understand, of course, that the clubs want the players in joint training from day 1, but the authorities consider that due to infection control considerations, at least three days are necessary.
Tvedt Anderssen states that all games that are going home to Norway fly with a charter on the way home from the collection.
Will assess the situation
Furthermore, the RBK coach explains that the club will now consider whether his players can participate in the national team gathering in Málaga at all, and the matches against Luxembourg and Greece.
– We have to consider whether we should send people down, but I do not want to take from Zachariassen or André Hansen the opportunity to play on the national team. I think it is very poorly handled.
What he still seems most frustrated about is the failing communication from the Norwegian Football Association.
– They should inform us much more in advance of what would happen. We cannot do anything about the authorities quarantining them.
– The association has handled it in a very strange way, in terms of information.